Attempted Rape Law - "honest" (but unreasonable) belief she consented = not guilty. *TRIGGER WARNING*

In taking a practice multiple choice test for the bar exam, I came across yet another entirely frustrating question about rape law that I yet again got wrong because I'm obviously biased.

Trigger warning is for the following hypo - mild, but still recounts an attempted rape.

A defendant was charged with attempted rape of a victim. The crime allegedly occurred at a party at the defendant's home. During the party, the defendant invited the victim into his bedroom to show her his tattoos. When she entered his bedroom, the defendant ripped off her blouse and threw her onto his bed. He then jumped on the victim and tried to pull off her skirt. When the victim began to scream, some of the guests rushed into the bedroom and pulled the defendant off the victim. At trial, the defendant testified that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with the victim but he believed that she was consenting. The defendant further testified that he had consumed a pint of whiskey earlier in the evening and was intoxicated at the time the incident occurred.

If the jury believes that the victim did not consent but also believes that the defendant, in his intoxicated state, honestly believes that she was consenting, the defendant should be found:

  1. guilty, because consent is determined by the objective manifestations of the victim and not the subjective beliefs of the defendant.
  2. guilty, because voluntary intoxication is no defense.
  3. not guilty, because he honestly believed that she was consenting.
  4. not guilty because his belief that she was consenting was reasonable.

The correct answer is (3), not guilty because he honestly believed that she was consenting. The part that really grates on me is the fact that his honest belief need not be reasonable in order to serve as a full and complete defense for his actions. I understand that the penalty for an attempted and failed action should be lesser (albeit by varying degrees to fit the crime) than the successful attempt - but this still really irritates me. His "honest" belief was 100% unreasonable, and yet, since it was honest, he's not guilty of attempted rape (but probably still guilty of a battery or assault charge).

The justification for the answer:
"Voluntary intoxication may be a valid defense for a specific intent crime if it negates the requisite mental state. Attempt is a specific intent crime. Choice (3) is correct because if the jury believes that the defendant thought the victim consented, then they cannot find that he had the requisite mens rea. Choice (2) is wrong because it is a true statement of law for general intent crimes, but not specific intent. If the defendant were charged with the crime of rape, then choice (2) would be correct because intoxication is not a valid defense for the "general-intent" crime of rape. Choice (1) is wrong because defendant's guilt of the attempt crime does turn on his subjective belief. Choice (4) is incorrect because reasonableness is irrelevant here."

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